YOU NEED TO STOP

It looks terrible when you drink alcohol in front of people. You are damaging your body. You are weakening those who watch you.  And, it is a wicked thing to do in front of a former drinker who is struggling to stay sober. It is equally bad to do it in front of those who have never indulged, because they might start drinking when they see you doing it.

None of the old excuses work anymore, and God help you if you defend even moderate drinking as some sort of display of God’s goodness, your claim to personal liberty, or as a crusade against a ‘religious spirit’. That is total bunk.

Here are new and compelling reasons you need to stop now.  And yes, I have upgraded my position on this.  Before, I said that the Bible condemned drunkenness, but not drinking in moderation.  But I said the Holy Spirit was leading certain individuals into an alcohol-free life for a deeper anointing.   Now I am saying that every Christian needs to lose the booze.

Here are the new reasons:

-There is no safe dosage of alcohol. A few years ago we were told that a little red wine was good for your heart. We now know that is false. We now know there is no safe level of drinking.  Kate Lelland in an article from Reuters entitled “Major study debunks myth that moderate drinking can be healthy, reports: “Blood pressure and stroke risk rise steadily the more alcohol people drink, and previous claims that one or two drinks a day might protect against stroke are not true, according to the results of a major genetic study.”

The research, which used data from a group of 160,000 Chinese adults, many of whom are unable to metabolize alcohol due to genetic intolerance, found that those who drink moderately, consuming amounts even as small as 10 to 20 grams (that’s 1/3 to 2/3 of an oz.) of alcohol a day, raise their risk of stroke by 10 to 15 percent. Do the math, for drinking larger amounts…

For heavy drinkers, those who consume four or more drinks a day, blood pressure rises significantly and the risk of stroke increases by around 35 percent, the study found.

 “The key message here is that, at least for stroke, there is no protective effect of moderate drinking,” said Zhengming Chen, a professor at Oxford University’s Nuffield Department of Population Health who co-led the research. “The genetic evidence shows the protective effect is not real.”

They went on to say, “It’s not a good idea to start drinking alcohol to protect yourself against heart disease. Simply put, it’s just not worth it. With alcohol and the heart, it’s a benefit and risk trade off. So, for example, while alcohol’s anti-clotting ability might protect against heart attack to a limited extent, it may increase the risk of hemorrhagic stroke (i.e.: when a blood vessel bursts causing bleeding inside the brain).  Alcohol’s potential small benefits for the heart are outweighed by its increased risks of developing other very serious illnesses, such as liver disease or cancer.”  And speaking of cancer…

 -Alcohol causes cancer. The CDC (Center for Disease Control) in Atlanta said, “Drinking alcohol raises your risk of getting six kinds of cancer—mouth and throat cancer; voice box (laryngeal) cancer; esophageal cancer; colorectal cancer; liver cancer; breast cancer.” https://www.cdc.gov/cancer/alcohol/index.htm

 -Alcohol and brain damage: SAM BLANCHARD HEALTH REPORTER FOR MAILONLINE wrote: Disturbing scans reveal how brain damage caused by alcohol continues on for up to SIX WEEKS after you stop drinking. Experts in Germany and Spain scanned the brains of alcoholics and non-drinkers, and they found there was less activity in the brains of those who drink−even weeks later.

(http://healthmedicinet.com/i/disturbing-scans-reveal-how-brain-damage-caused-by-alcohol-carries-on-for-up-to-six-weeks/)

Areas of the brain controlling emotions, behavior and memory were affected.

Although drinking can make people feel happier and more sociable, overuse can cause damage to those parts of the brain that control thoughts and movement.

Scans showed there is significantly less electrical activity in the brains of drinkers than of teetotallers– even after two weeks of sobriety. The changes were still present in the brain after six weeks of no alcohol, according to the research published in the Journal of the American Medical Association Psychiatry.

The researchers said their findings go against the conventional idea that damage from alcohol ends when the drinking ends.

Dr. Santiago Canals, one of the authors of the study, said: “Until now, nobody could believe that in the absence of alcohol the damage in the brain would progress.”

The scans showed that the two areas that were affected the worst, were the hippocampus and the prefrontal cortex.

Memories, emotions, decision-making, and behavior are controlled by these parts of the brain, suggesting these characteristics could be particularly altered.

“We found that at two and six weeks of abstinence, the micro-structural changes progressed,” the scientists wrote in their report.

 AND FINALLY:

 -It is an empty defense to say that Jesus drank wine. No one really knows what He drank, and we do not know what the level of alcohol was, if any, in the wine at Cana.  We do know that He didn’t drink anything close to modern alcoholic drinks. The best estimate is that today’s wine contains 300% more alcohol than most wines in the first century.  Distilling was not invented until centuries later. We know that Jesus gave up all wine after the Last Supper to prepare for His crucifixion (Luke 22:18). He even refused it at the cross.

 -It is inaccurate to say that Paul recommended alcohol to Timothy.  Drinkaware, a secular website devoted to drinking says this: “Put simply, alcohol irritates your digestive system. Drinking–even a little–makes your stomach produce more acid than usual, which can in turn cause gastritis (the inflammation of the stomach lining). This triggers stomach pain, vomiting, diarrhea and, in heavy drinkers, even bleeding.” Okay. Do you think Paul would recommend alcohol as a cure for Timothy’s stomach?

It wasn’t because the wine contained alcohol that Paul recommended that Timothy “no longer drink water.” Many Bible scholars believe that Paul was telling Timothy that his stomach problems were being caused by the water where he was located. Paul added, “but use a little wine for your stomach’s sake and those frequent infirmities of yours” (I Tim. 5:23). Paul was recommending that Timothy forgo drinking the local water, perhaps because of the many types of water pollution common in those times, such as dysentery, Guardia, lead poisoning, pollution, etc.

Of course, there are many other issues we need to cover, including nutrition, wholesome conversation, bad company, financial integrity, and sexual purity. But right now, the enemy is capitalizing on the subtly of alcohol to cause many vessels of God to plateau and cease growing in holiness, and even to destroy their anointing, their power, and their walk with the Holy Spirit.

We are about to lose our country. Do you want to be remembered as one who championed the cause of social drinking? You know you want power.  You know you yearn for a greater presence of God on your life.  Don’t let a crude habit sabotage your destiny.

Remember, a real disciple gives up what they want now, for what they want most.

Prov. 31:4-5 “It is not for kings, O Lemuel, it is not for kings to drink wine; nor for princes, strong drink: 5 Lest they drink, and forget the law, and pervert the justice due to any of the afflicted.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Affluenza among Christian leaders

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Affluenza among Christian leaders

By Mario Murillo 

 Something crazy is happening to high profile Christian leaders.  They are saying and doing things that are bizarre and in some cases tragic. I will not name names because I am praying for them to repent.  There will be a time when I will name names .  The mission of this missive is not to embarrass any leader or to make myself look holier than them…and it is most certainly not an attack on God’s promises to prosper us.

Here is a list of things said and done recently that prove something has gone very bad.

-“God has told me…when our Carolina Panthers win the Super Bowl, a time of major revival, awakening, moves of God are going to break out in America,” – Famous Pastor.  Well…now that they lost 24-10 is national revival impossible?  My real issue here is connecting football to revival.  Whether is was done in 1980 or in 2016 makes no difference…they are totally unrelated.

-“I need to get my wife her own jet.  Sometimes she wants to leave meetings before I do.”- Another famous pastor.

-I walked into a restaurant where the entire worship team of a famous revival church was bellied up to the bar sucking down cocktails.  This church also is fine with their women leaders dressing scantily: “we were now reaching a global culture and this look helps us relate.”   The alcohol is part of their new found revelation of grace.

-A very famous Spirit-filled female pastor stands with her husband and tells their congregation that Christian couples should watch porn together to strengthen their marriage.

-The daily broadcast of one preacher and his guest explaining how they needed private jets since they can’t communicate to God in commercial jets and it protects the anointing of God on their life. And one says: “because in this doped filled world … and you get in a long tube with a bunch of demons…it”s deadly”. And the other one chimes in …”and it works on your heart, it really does”.

-Silent night was given a cringe-worthy (well, you just had to see it) makeover by a global Church.  When the video went viral…a mainstream Christian magazine gave an equally cringe-worthy defense “they were showing how King Herod would do silent night…they did it the right way later in the show.”

-The most popular gospel artist of today suddenly leaves the church after making millions off of Christians… The former “Jesus Freak” is advocating that Jesus is as fake as the tooth fairy… Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny. What? Yes! It’s true, as he admits “The concept of religion as we know it is a lie”.

These are all cases of affluenza and they have all happened in the space of a few months. 

Affluenza came on the scene recently when Ethan Anthony Couch’s attorneys used it as a defense for murder.  Ethan–a teenager, was guilty of four counts of intoxication manslaughter, for recklessly driving drunk on June 15, 2013, in Burleson, Texas. He was illegally driving on a restricted license and speeding, lost control, plowed into a group of people. Four people were killed in the collision; two passengers in Couch’s truck suffered serious bodily injury and a total of nine people were injured.

The formal definition of affluenza is:  the unhealthy and unwelcome psychological and social effects of affluence regarded especially as a widespread societal problem: such as: feelings of guilt, lack of motivation, and social isolation experienced by wealthy people  Anastasia Toufexis Editor in Chief of Psychology Today coined the term “Affluenza” in 1988.

Affluenza strikes a Christian leader who has too much time, wealth, technology at their disposal. It warps common sense and herds them into foolishness and in its worst form…self-destruction.   Here is what it looks like

Affluenza makes them blurt out heresy:   The sheer volume of material they must produce along with the continual need to hold people’s attention is a breeding ground for heresy.

One affluenzed leader diminished the Bible:  “Why do we trust in a book that the early Christians did not have more than in the Spirit that they did have?”  I promise you he doesn’t really believe this—in the heat of the moment and in the need to dazzle his audience—he just blurted it out.  Problem is it made into a book that is widely circulated and influences young fertile minds.

Affluenza makes sustaining popularity a priority over telling the truth.  Just as the newly rich athlete is insecure about his money and behaves in an irrational manner so these leaders suddenly display unstable pulpit and mood swings.   They say and do the things they think will keep their business afloat.

Affluenza puts them in a bubble.  They are detached from reality and have no clue of how they look and sound.  They are often surrounded by people who will not confront their aberrant behavior.

Affluenza gives them strange priorities and urgencies.  Think about it…we are about to lose our country.  America has sunk into unprecedented debauchery.  Many Christians face financial crisis.  2015 saw more persecution of Christians worldwide that any year in the modern era.   Does any of this subject enter their pulpits?  Do they see who what they say may hurt and confuse?  Does it move them to break before God?

Both for Ethan Couch and preachers, affluenza is not an excuse—it is an onerous moral failure.  For vessels called of God it is both inexcusable and disastrous.

Listen carefully: The consequence of a sin is amplified by the time, place and circumstances in which it is committed.    Probably the most compelling example of this in the Bible is 2 Kings: 5.   After Naaman was healed of leprosy he offered riches to Elisha the prophet.  The prophet refused his gifts.  Verse 20 says, “Gehazi, the servant of Elisha the man of God, said to himself, “My master was too easy on Naaman, this Aramean, by not accepting from him what he brought. As surely as the Lord lives, I will run after him and get something from him.”  He indeed went and got the riches and hid them.

Verse 25 says, “When he went in and stood before his master, Elisha asked him, “Where have you been, Gehazi?”  “Your servant didn’t go anywhere,” Gehazi answered.  26 But Elisha said to him, “Was not my spirit with you when the man got down from his chariot to meet you? Is this the time to take money or to accept clothes—or olive groves and vineyards, or flocks and herds, or male and female slaves? 27 Naaman’s leprosy will cling to you and to your descendants forever.” Then Gehazi went from Elisha’s presence and his skin was leprous—it had become as white as snow.”

If you get nothing else from this message get this:  Against the backdrop of America’s doom…is this the time for silly prophecies?  Is this the time for fictional doctrines, prescribing porn, drunkenness and flaunting obscene lifestyles?